Keeping bullets in magazine all the time?


stevenmetzger

New member
Can keeping the magazines filled possibly damage the magazines?
 

Curmudgeon

New member
Only if the magazine is made with cheap springs, or poorly designed such that the springs end up being over-compressed when loaded.

Quality magazines + quality springs + good design = no problem.
 

cadman99

New member
The method I use is to unload the mag for a short time once every two weeks or so, releasing the tension. If you have two mags, swap out the one you load up every two weeks instead....
 

aud_vis

New member
Keeping springs compressed is not what wears them out. Constant compression and extension, over-and-over is what wears them out. So, by "rotating" the magazine that you keep loaded, you're actually wearing out your mag springs faster than if you just kept them loaded all the time. It's counterintuitive, but true.
 

trailboss

Gunsmith
per Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

"How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.

Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.

More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.

In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably."
 

cawpin

New member
Can keeping the magazines filled possibly damage the magazines?

Yes and no, but not because of the springs wearing out. The damage that comes from keeping magazines loaded is to the feed lips on the magazine. They will bend over time. That said, it will take a LONG time for this to happen with modern magazines and is generally only a problem with high capacity rifle mags. This is one of the reasons that PMags have the cover for the top of the mag. It keeps dirt out but also pushes the rounds down a bit to keep tension off of the feed lips. These composite mags obviously aren't spring steel so the damage to them would be permanent no matter what.

Keeping springs compressed is not what wears them out. Constant compression and extension, over-and-over is what wears them out. So, by "rotating" the magazine that you keep loaded, you're actually wearing out your mag springs faster than if you just kept them loaded all the time. It's counterintuitive, but true.

You would have to load and unload the magazine thousands of times for that to happen.

As an example of leaving even an old magazine loaded, I read in Guns & Ammo a few years ago a story about this exact thing. One of the writers got a 1911 from the wife of a guy he knew. The guy was a WWII vet and had a 1911 in his wardrobe basically ever since he got back. The wife couldn't remember the last time he'd fired it, or even had it out. The magazine had been loaded for at least 15 years at the time, and this is a WWII vintage magazine. The guy got the gun, took it to the range and fired all 7 rounds without a problem. They all went bang and the magazine worked perfectly.
 

Phillip Gain

New member
per Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably."

In other words:

"Hi. We want you to think that your springs will wear out from keeping your magazines loaded. And we want you to shoot your pistol often, because that's what really wears them out. Oh, and then buy our replacement springs for your magazines."
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
I usually change out once a month to another mag. This gives the spring a rest.

Even if there's overwhelming evidience that this does nothing to help the spring and may actually weaken it? Do you just ignore that?
 

LogosVeritas

New member
Mags

I asked this question when I purchased my glock. Armorer told me that keeping a magazine fully loaded, for a long period of time, will not cause any damage to my springs. He said it was an "Urban Legend". I have taken his words on good faith, as he is an armorer and I am not haha.

If anyone can show me differently i will gladly change my ways.
 

titaniumman

New member
what good is a magazine with no rounds in it...Mine are all FULL...ALL THE TIME! They are inspected during cleaning, and I feel comfortable that I will be able to detect a weak spring during a reload of the magazine. The last couple of rounds still require a little extra effort to slide in so I feel mine are still ok. All of them are less than 4 yrs. old, and do not see severe use.
 

Kimber 2010

New member
I've had Kimber, Sig and Beretta mags loaded for years at a time in the vault without a problem. Feed every time at the range. A well kept firearm is the answer to that. Companies that say they'll wear out aren't lying; they will, but they want you to buy more a lot sooner than they actually do wear out. I've got Beretta mags that have been loaded since the early 90's that still work 100%. My Kimber's and Sig's are probably about 5 years loaded, but still feed every trip to the range with no problem. ;)
 

trailboss

Gunsmith
I keep one empty clip and one loaded clip in my 1911.
Once a week (or two) I rotate them.
And I empty the full one the way it was made to be emptied.
What good is a edc if you don't shoot it.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
I keep one empty clip and one loaded clip in my 1911.
Once a week (or two) I rotate them.
And I empty the full one the way it was made to be emptied.
What good is a edc if you don't shoot it.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

How do you keep two magazines in a 1911?
 

walt629

New member
Can keeping the magazines filled possibly damage the magazines?

I don't think keeping bullets in the magazine will cause damage. But let me ask this.... what good is a magazine without bullets?

If you are asking will a loaded magazine loose the spring tension over time, the general answer is "no.". The springs in a magazine are designed for constant compression and torsion so they can stay loaded for long periods of time.

I've had the magazine of my 92AF loaded for consecutive months at a time an had no feed problems when the time came. YEMBD (your experience may be different)
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
I have to ask this question, given that a magazine is meant to be replaced anyway, why the hoopla? Buy a few extra magazines or springs and put them to the side and use as needed.

I think gun owners as a class are incredibly cheap
 

tuts40

New member
per Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns

"How often should I change magazine spring? Should I unload my magazines, rotate magazines, load with fewer than the maximum rounds?
Magazine springs in semi-auto pistols are one of the most critical springs and are the subject of much debate and concern. Magazines which are kept fully loaded for long periods of time, such as in law enforcement and personal/home defense applications, will generally be subject to more fatigue than the weekend shooter's magazine springs in which the magazines are loaded up only when shooting.

Magazine design and capacity also affect the longevity of the spring. In many older pistol designs, maximum capacity was not the always the goal such as with the 7 round 1911 Colt magazines will last for years fully loaded. There was room for more spring material in these guns which reduces overall stress and increases the usable life of the spring.

More recently higher capacity magazine have become popular. These are designed to hold more rounds with less spring material often in the same space. This puts more stress on the spring and will cause it to fatigue at a faster rate. Unloading these magazines a round or two will help the life of the spring. Rotating fully loaded magazines will also help the problem somewhat but it is not always practical.

In applications where the magazine must be kept loaded at all times, a high quality magazine spring such as Wolff extra power magazine springs, will provide maximum life. Regular replacement of magazine springs will provide the best defense against failure from weak magazine springs. Regular shooting of the pistol is the best way to be sure the springs are still functioning reliably."

Did you realize this quote is from a magazine spring retailer? If they had their way, we'd change our springs every week!
 

tuts40

New member
I don't think keeping bullets in the magazine will cause damage. But let me ask this.... what good is a magazine without bullets?

If you are asking will a loaded magazine loose the spring tension over time, the general answer is "no.". The springs in a magazine are designed for constant compression and torsion so they can stay loaded for long periods of time.

I've had the magazine of my 92AF loaded for consecutive months at a time an had no feed problems when the time came. YEMBD (your experience may be different)

Would we not want to place fully assembled (and filled) rounds in the magazine rather than just the bullets? ;-)
 

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